Offensive tackle Blake Vinson has toured much of the Southeast while visiting prospective schools. Tennessee topped them all.
“I’d say this was my favorite visit because of the quality time with the coaches,” the 6-foot-4½, 285-pound offensive tackle told SEC Country after visiting Knoxville for Tennessee’s junior day on Saturday. “I liked that the coaches were with us the entire time of the tour so it was fun getting to talk and joke around with them. I also enjoyed watching practice.”
Tennessee isn’t Vinson’s first visit. Far from it. The 2017 prospect from North Marion (Citra, Fla.) has also been to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke. All of those schools have offered him a scholarship. In all, the 3-star prospect has 22 offers.
While Vinson has plenty of time to choose a school, he doesn’t plan on waiting long. He said he’ll likely announce his commitment this spring. He said he’s unsure if he’ll ever publicly cut down his list of potential suitors.
“I’m not sure if I’ll release a top list of schools,” he said.
Vinson said he could easily see himself playing for Tennessee despite the distance from home. His mother is from Chattanooga and he has family throughout the area.
“I have a lot of family in Tennessee,” he said.
Vinson said he didn’t grow up a fan of any particular school, and he is a fan of “just college football in general”.
“Important factors for me are the coaching staff and the family atmosphere around the program,” he said.
Florida will certainly have a say in Vinson’s recruitment. Gainesville, Fla., is only about a 30-minute drive from Citra. Vinson said he has been impressed with the Gators under first-year Florida coach Jim McElwain.
“I think “Coach Mac” has that program moving in the right direction,” Vinson said.
Vinson is rated the No. 45 offensive tackle prospect in the 2017 class. He is the No. 50 prospect in Florida.